“SCALISE: COVID BILL NEEDS TO FOCUS ON SCHOOLS, HEALTH, NOT LIBERAL GIVEAWAYS”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 24, 2023)—House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) joined Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), and Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee Jason Smith (R-Mo.) at today’s leadership press stakeout to outline the devastating impacts of Speaker Pelosi’s nearly $2 trillion partisan package that Democrats have rushed to bring to the House Floor without any effort to advance bipartisan solutions that are targeted and tied to COVID relief.

On Speaker Pelosi’s nearly $2 trillion partisan package:
 
“House Republicans have consistently fought to help those hard-working families that are struggling. Whether they’re trying to get back to work, trying to have their businesses reopened, or whether they’re demanding that their kids be taught in the classroom. Those are the things that we’ve been fighting for, as well as to fight to get more vaccines in the arms of people. Unfortunately, that’s not what we’re going to be voting on this week. That’s not what this $1.9 trillion liberal wish-list giveaway bill does and that’s why we’re strongly opposing it. And we’re also pushing to expose just what is really in this bill. You know, back during Obamacare, Speaker Pelosi famously said, ‘You’ve got to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.’ You know, people are starting to find out what’s in this bill and they’re also finding out what’s not in this bill. They know that this bill does not dedicate real money to reopen schools. In fact, the press secretary for President Biden admitted that over the weekend – that the $130 plus billion going to schools doesn’t even have to be used to safely reopen schools. Even the CBO pointed out more than 95% of that money won’t even be spent this year.”
 
On the long-term damage of keeping schools closed:
 
“Parents don’t want to wait another year to have their kids safely in the classroom. In fact, the science strongly says that schools need to be reopened, can safely be reopened, and points out the damage, long-term damage, being done to our nation’s children if they’re not in the classroom. Estimates are that only about 40% of America’s students are learning in the classroom every day. That means tens of millions of students are not getting the same educational opportunities. That’s not something that’s just going to last within these next few weeks, that’s something that could last and hold them back the rest of their lives. We owe it to those children to open schools and this bill ought to be focused on opening schools and unfortunately Democrats have pushed against those measures to do it.”
 
On the liberal giveaways in this bill that have nothing to do with COVID:
 
“You know, we had amendments in committee to do things like ensure that we can reopen schools. Ensure that, by the way, we had an amendment to say let’s go not to 100 million vaccinations in the first 100 days of Biden’s presidency, but to go to 200 million vaccinations. Every Democrat voted against that amendment. How can you call it COVID relief when you oppose the measures to actually increase vaccinations against COVID? Just the other day, President Biden challenged Republicans to show him the waste. ‘What would you cut?’ President Biden said. My response to President Biden would be how much time do you have, Mr. President, to go through the litany of things in this bill that have nothing to do with COVID? Who said a subway to Silicon Valley has anything to do with COVID? Who said a $15 minimum wage that estimates show would kill over $50 billion in economic activity and jobs in America has anything to do with COVID? Who says a state bailout of $350 billion to blue states like California [has anything to do with COVID]? California, in this bill, would get over $40 billion in bailout money when they just announced they have a $10 billion surplus. So why, Mr. President, would you want to borrow money from our children and grandchildren to bail out failed states and to keep schools closed for another year when the science says open schools today?”
 
On working together to confront the challenges Americans are facing:
 
“So, my challenge to President Biden would be work with Republicans to actually help families who are struggling, to reopen small businesses, to get kids back in the classroom; not one day a week or in six months but today. The science says they can do it, the will is there. And, by the way, there are tens of billions of dollars already passed in previous bipartisan bills to safely reopen schools. That’s where the focus should be. Unfortunately, this bill falls far flat of those objectives and that’s why we strongly oppose it. Let’s fight for those families. Let’s help those kids get back in school. And let’s defeat this virus working together.”

Source:Republican Whip Scalise

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